Review of the Galaxy S23: Amazing phone for $800 if you spend $860 on it
It’s official: the Samsung Galaxy S23 is here! With a redesign and significant hardware update for its flagship phone series, Samsung is kicking off 2023. There is a lot to be enthusiastic about here, even though some things appear to be the same.
With the Galaxy S23’s removal of the Exynos CPU variations, the division between US and EU models is finally abolished. In fact, it includes a customized Galaxy phone-specific version of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor. The Samsung-tuned Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is more potent than the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 standard, which is already pretty potent.
We’ll tell you right now that the Galaxy S23’s storage options are the only thing to watch out for. Every other phone in the price range has a UFS 4.0 and LPDDR5x processor, while the Galaxy S23 128 GB tier has a UFS 3.1 chip. We strongly advise getting the 256 GB model of the small S23, which is thankfully now an upgrade that is free during the pre-order period.
- Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 made for Galaxy, overclocked and tuned
- Upgraded internal cooling for better sustained performance
- New design, a-la S22 Ultra
- Selfie camera improvements
- Slightly increased battery
Galaxy S23 Specs
|Dimensions||146.3 x 70.9 x 7.6 mm (5.76 x 2.79 x 0.30 in)|
|Weight||168 g (5.93 oz)|
|Build||Glass front (Gorilla Glass Victus 2), glass back (Gorilla Glass Victus 2), aluminum frame|
|SIM||Nano-SIM and eSIM or Dual SIM (2 Nano-SIMs and eSIM, dual stand-by)|
IP68 dust/water resistant (up to 1.5m for 30 mins)
Armor aluminum frame with tougher drop and scratch resistance (advertised)
Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 120Hz, HDR10+, 1750 nits (peak)
|Size||6.1 inches, 90.1 cm2 (~86.8% screen-to-body ratio)|
|Resolution||1080 x 2340 pixels, 19.5:9 ratio (~425 ppi density)|
|Protection||Corning Gorilla Glass Victus 2|
|Triple||50 MP, f/1.8, 24mm (wide), 1/1.56″, 1.0µm, Dual Pixel PDAF, OIS|
10 MP, f/2.4, 70mm (telephoto), 1/3.94″, 1.0µm, PDAF, 3x optical zoom
12 MP, f/2.2, 13mm, 120˚ (ultrawide), 1/2.55″ 1.4µm, Super Steady video
|LED flash, auto-HDR, panorama|
8K@24/30fps, 4K@30/60fps, 1080p@30/60/240fps, 1080p@960fps, HDR10+, stereo sound rec., gyro-EIS
|Single||12 MP, f/2.2, 26mm (wide), Dual Pixel PDAF|
|Dual video call, Auto-HDR, HDR10+4K@30/60fps, 1080p@30fps|
|WLAN||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6e, tri-band, Wi-Fi Direct|
|Bluetooth||5.3, A2DP, LE|
|Positioning||GPS, GLONASS, BDS, GALILEO|
|USB||USB Type-C 3.2, OTG|
|Sensors||Fingerprint (under display, ultrasonic), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer|
Samsung DeX, Samsung Wireless DeX (desktop experience support)
Bixby natural language commands and dictation
Samsung Pay (Visa, MasterCard certified)
|Li-Ion 3900 mAh, non-removable|
25W wired, PD3.0, 50% in 30 min (advertised)
15W wireless (Qi/PMA)
4.5W reverse wireless
|Colors||Phantom Black, Cream, Green, Lavender, Graphite, Lime|
|Models||SM-S911B, SM-S911B/DS, SM-S911U, SM-S911U1, SM-S911W, SM-S911N, SM-S9110, SM-S911E, SM-S911E/DS|
|SAR||0.95 W/kg (head) 0.88 W/kg (body)|
|SAR EU||0.96 W/kg (head) 1.30 W/kg (body)|
|Technology||GSM / CDMA / HSPA / EVDO / LTE / 5G|
|2G bands||GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 – SIM 1 & SIM 2 (Dual SIM model only)|
CDMA 800 / 1900 & TD-SCDMA
|3G bands||HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1700(AWS) / 1900 / 2100|
|4G bands||1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 20, 25, 26, 28, 38, 39, 40, 41, 46, 48, 66, 71 – USA|
|5G bands||1, 7, 25, 28, 41, 66, 71, 78, 258, 260, 261 SA/NSA/Sub6/mmWave – USA|
SA/NSA/Sub6 – International
|Speed||HSPA, LTE-A (up to 7CA), 5G|
The S23 appears to be a natural development of the S22. The battery has been increased by 200 mAh, the design has been slightly improved, and the selfie camera has been upgraded from 10 MP to 12 MP. The main camera module resembles the S22 series, but this time, we have the option of 8K footage at 30 frames per second (it was locked to 24 FPS before).
Here, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is referred to as the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Mobile Platform for Galaxy and is a special edition. It not only has a somewhat faster tick rate, but it also aids in the hidden camera tricks. To produce considerably more realistic post-processing effects, the processor’s Semantic Segmentation intelligently recognizes objects, faces, body parts, what’s in the forefront, and what’s in the background. That is also possible with the Galaxy’s selfie camera!
Another reason to upgrade: the Galaxy S23’s operating system may already consume up to 40 GB of storage out of the box (curiously, the S23+ and S23 Ultra’s software can consume up to 60 GB). As a result, if you get the base model 128 GB, you will soon run out of storage. We strongly advise upgrading to the 256 GB variant for this reason as well as the performance boost (thankfully, a storage upgrade is free during the current pre-order period).
Galaxy S23 Models
The Galaxy S23 family will consist of three devices: the Galaxy S23, Galaxy S23+, and Galaxy S23 Ultra, with the latter being the absolute beast… as is traditional. Here, we are only looking at the standard Galaxy S23.
Galaxy S23 Design & Colors
Phantom Black, Cream (a beige-like color), Green, and Lavender are the designated hues (purple-ish). They maintain a low profile with understated elegance and are extremely earthy.
As is customary, you can pick up exclusive colors from Samsung.com — this year, they are Lime and Graphite.
Galaxy S23 Display
Samsung is the best at AMOLED. The business has been perfecting displays for the past ten years that are brilliant, vibrant, sharp, and gorgeous. The Galaxy S23 keeps doing this but has now increased the brightness significantly. If necessary, the tiny phone can reach a peak brightness of 1,750 nits. And even in the blazing heat of August, you won’t need anything more.
It still has a 6.1-inch diagonal and a roughly 19.5:9 aspect ratio, preserving its tall and slender shape. We achieve a PPI ratio of about 425 with an FHD resolution of 1080 x 2340. You won’t be counting the pixels on this screen because it is so sharp.
When the software optimizations are disabled, we can notice that the screen has a tiny greenish inclination. Surprisingly, based on our test units, the Galaxy S22 from a year ago had better accurate colors than the S23 at the time. The Eye Comfort Shield feature, which modifies color temperature based on the time of day, is always on when we use the phone as our primary device. And the panel’s chilly tendencies are never a problem, if they are even apparent.
Galaxy S23 Camera:
Sadly, there isn’t much fresh information to provide regarding the Galaxy S23 camera. Similar to previous year, it has a 50 MP primary, 12 MP ultra-wide, and 10 MP telephoto combination. Although they appear to be the same cameras physically, the Galaxy-edition Snapdragon 8 Gen 2’s power does alter some aspects.
The Galaxy S23’s camera is adjusted somewhat warmer than the S22’s, in our opinion. Additionally, we couldn’t help but notice that it has a stronger HDR, further smoothing out a shot’s high dynamics. Although it’s fairly amazing, some users might at this point like, for instance, the slightly more contrast-y aesthetics from an S22.
The saturation seems to have been dialed back slightly, but it’s enough to rein in those vivid greens and neon sky that we’ve seen from Samsungs before. The Galaxy S23, on the other hand, also seems to give somewhat more realistic colors.
Zoom and Portrait mode
We can’t really say we notice any significant improvements in this area, despite the fact that the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is supposedly capable of some ridiculous subject separation for Portrait modes. The main reason for this is that Samsung’s Portrait mode was already rather competent in that area. We would have preferred to see less smoothing of the facial features or a backdrop blur that looked more convincing. Despite certain issues, it’s a good Portrait Mode.
The Galaxy S23 can only digitally zoom up to 30x, which is not very good. You may claim to possess it. yet you’ll almost certainly never use it.
We observe no repulsive oversharpening, but the details in the winter cap are so lifelike, you can nearly touch it! The boost to a 12 MP selfie sensor is visible here with some excellent details in the images.
This is the first smartphone to use Qualcomm technology for the selfie side. The dynamics are also handled fairly effectively, and the Snapdragon Semantic Segmentation is also applied here for better pictures.
In addition, instead of being limited to 24 FPS, we may now capture 8K video at up to 30 FPS. The stabilization also showed a significant improvement, despite the fact that this version was specifically targeted at the Galaxy S23 Ultra.
Galaxy S23 Performance:
It’s quite encouraging to hear about the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Mobile Platform for the Galaxy. We put it through our benchmarks, and it appears to be able to maintain exceptional performance for longer periods of time. This is undoubtedly made possible by the Galaxy S23’s improved heat dissipation mechanism.
Galaxy S23 OS / Android version:
The Galaxy S23 will come with Android 13, which is the most recent Android release available. But as you are aware, Samsung like creating its own things, therefore its Android phones have the sophisticated One UI reskin, the most recent version of which is One UI 5.1.
Galaxy S23 Battery:
So, as expected, the battery capacity is increased by 200 mAh, reaching 3,900 mAh. There are two possible outcomes here: either the additional 200 mAh is included to balance off the demands of a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 that is more potent, or it is not. Or, it might function in concert with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2’s power efficiency to prolong battery life.
Galaxy S23 Audio Quality and Haptics:
Samsung has gradually and steadily enhanced the audio quality of its mobile devices ever since it purchased AKG. The Galaxy S23 has a stereo system with a bottom driver and an amplified earpiece, as is now standard. They typically have good audio quality, but it appears that Samsung has made some improvements. The Galaxy S23’s speakers have excellent audio quality; they can be rather loud without losing balance or bass. While performing our tasks, we wouldn’t mind listening to music from these.
Nevertheless, the Galaxy S23 clicks with a very nice feedback thanks to the outstanding haptics on the series’ flagship models.
Galaxy S23 Summary:
If you are coming from a more outdated model, such as an S20, it appears that there will be plenty of excellent reasons to switch to a Galaxy S23. It might seem like the Galaxy S23 doesn’t generate enough heat to warrant an upgrade if you have more recent smartphones, and that’s roughly true. Both the Galaxy S21 and S22 remain top-notch smartphones. Which simply demonstrates the level of quality Samsung has reached at this point, where these flagship smartphones can now last and continue to feel current for a lot longer than two years. And it makes spending the $800 on them simpler, right?
|Design is fresh, comfy, solid||128 GB model comes with slower storage and RAM|
|New speakers sound great||Screen leans slightly towards the greenish side|
|Display is sharp and vibrant||25 W “fast” charging – bigger Galaxies do 45 W|
|Great performance bump|
|Good triple camera system|
|Very dependable battery life|